Mayor Lee Creates San Francisco Housing Trust Fund Working Group

Mayor Convenes Housing Advocates, City Officials, Developers & Community Leaders to Protect Affordable & Middle Class Housing in San Francisco

1/12/12—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the creation of the Housing Trust Fund Working Group. The broad working group is tasked with designing a ballot measure that would create a permanent source of revenue to fund the creation of housing that is affordable to low income, moderate income and middle-class households in San Francisco. Mayor Lee will work with the Board of Supervisors and the community to develop a measure for the November 2012 Ballot.

“If we can come together to tackle tough issues like pension reform, we can surely work together to create a permanent source of revenue to fund the production of housing in San Francisco at every level of the economic spectrum,” said Mayor Lee. “Affordable and middle class housing are critical to the economic diversity and economic vitality of our City. With the elimination of affordable housing and a nearly 50 percent decrease in federal affordable housing funds this year alone, we must innovate locally to ensure San Francisco remains a place that everyone can call home.”

Mayor Lee set an initial target of generating $50 million in additional revenue to fund affordable housing for low income households as well as to create incentives for market rate developers to produce workforce and middle class housing. This local revenue would leverage significant federal and state funding, as well as stimulate our local economy through the creation of construction and permanent jobs.

The working group assembled by Mayor Lee will consist of representatives from different sectors of the real estate industry, including affordable housing developers, market rate developers, realtors and small property owners.

“By working together, we can come up with the optimal solution that acknowledges that the goal of creating affordable and middle class housing, and the jobs that housing creates that is critical to San Francisco,” said Mayor’s Office of Housing Director Olson Lee who Mayor Lee tapped to lead to the Housing Trust Fund Working Group.

The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, which will be eliminated on February 1st, has created over 12,000 units of affordable housing since its creation. This constitutes the single largest source of affordable housing in San Francisco. In addition, federal funds have seen a precipitous decline over the past three years. The Mayor’s Office of Housing projects a 48 percent cut to federal HOME funds, which is one of the primary source of federal affordable housing funding to San Francisco.

These cuts could decimate future affordable housing production in San Francisco, an industry that has proven to be a steady economic anchor during the Great Recession. After the economic downturn, affordable housing represented 42 percent of the new units produced in 2010. And affordable housing produces more than just units, it produces jobs. For every 100 units of affordable housing created, 117 construction jobs and 30 management, maintenance and service jobs are created.

Mayor Lee’s 17-Point Roadmap to Good Jobs and Opportunity includes Affordable and Available Housing. A strong San Francisco economy requires housing for San Franciscans at every income level.